Recovery Act Impact: Pittsfield Energy Upgrades at Wastewater Treatment Plant
"This is consistent with the philosophy of Governor Patrick's administration," said Rubarto. "Anyone who says the stimulus doesn't work is crazy."
One of Pittsfield's key stimulus-funded energy projects is a solar photovoltaic field at the city's wastewater treatment plant. At full build out, it will total 7,545 solar panels producing 1.5 megwatts of energy and will be the largest stimulus-funded solar array in the state. The only solar array larger is Western Massachusetts
A stimulus award of $7.3 million enabled the solar project to get built and that in combination with the other stimulus-funded energy efficiency projects at the plant will ultimately cover over 75 percent of the plant's energy demands, according to Bruce Collingwood, utilities commissioner for Pittsfield.
The plant's other stimulus-funded energy efficiency projects include a combined heat and power system; an aeration system upgrade; and the replacement of the plant's bar-rack filtration system, for which the city received an additional $4 million in stimulus awards. Collingwood noted that the city's renewable energy efforts will involve and educational component in which students in the area schools will be updated and
The solar project in Pittsfield is also contractor Nexamp's largest solar project to date. The North Andover-based company received over $20 million in stimulus funds for 12 solar installations across the state. The company has hired nearly 35 employees to work on these contracts.
For Ruberto, this is an ideal demonstration of the impact of the stimulus program. "This is a perfect example of how stimulus helped a company establish its brand," he said.